We used to have a cat named Petpet. We had him ever since some stray decided to give birth to him and two of his siblings at a shelf near our bed. (We had a make-shift double-deck bed, and we (my sister and I) used to sleep on the top bed when we were in grade school). I was around 11 years old going 12, 2002, I think when Petpet was born.
We have a terrible sense of naming. We did not know what to call him at first. My 2nd older brother just named him Petpet after a segment Bayani Agbayani did for a TV comedy show (Klasmates, a segment, I remember, when he’s referred to a bird named “Petpet” too: “Petpet mo, petpet ko, petpet nating lahat.”). We never really reached an agreement until we just kind of called him Petpet since. And we only named him I think, half a year later after he was born.
Around later that year, I saw a kid-neighbor kicking a small kitten from a corner. Not sure why he’s doing that. I ended up adopting the cat. The violence she received ended up with her walking limping. We ended up calling her “Pilay” because she was.
We were fond of them, even though most of the days they are asleep and nights they are out, coz that’s what they are: stray cats. My father often plays with the half-asleep Petpet’s feet because he’s so reactive even when resting. I think Petpet is only fond of my father. He’d always go violent on us kids after his first year with us.
Pilay was always that sweet-manipulative cat that’s always there available to cuddle coz she’s always hungry. She’s always violent against Petpet though. They were one-year-olds in human time, not sure at the time why they were like that to each other.
Eventually, Pilay got kittens of her own. Petpet grew even more violent.
What’s weird is that they’re both violent (either against us or against each other), but they just let rats pass them by peacefully. Can’t blame them though, the rats are as big as them.
Some years later (I think when they were about 4 years old? When I was in 3rd-year high school), Petpet came home with a small wound on his neck. We never get to mind it at first, until the wound becomes a hole. Like, a big hole, as big as a yellow 5-peso coin. I think he got it off a fight, then the scar eventually got infected and eats off some of his skin. It eventually produced yellow pus. It healed in time, I think, around a year after.
It was around that time before the scar that we noticed that we never really heard Petpet let out a “meow”, ever since he was born. And whenever he makes a sound, it’s always this screeching sound that’s quite annoying. At first, we were wondering if it’s the wound that did that, but we somehow came to the conclusion that we never really heard him meow. Not sure back when he was a kitten tho. I just remember him being in a box near our bed.
Not sure when’s the mating season for the strays, but I know that it is around when Petpet attempts to jump at Pilay. Pilay, being the muscular cat that she is, always shoves off Petpet. There are times I think that Pilay deliberately scratches Petpet’s open wound. Petpet around those times get into fights with other cats bigger than him. He always ends up falling from the roof. One time he fell and he stopped moving for more than five seconds. We thought he already exhausted his nine lives. Then he walked on like it was nothing.
I think there were several times that Petpet attempted to jump at Pilay. And most of the time, it’s unsuccessful. We know because all of the kittens that came from Pilay are all colored black and white, not one of them is colored yellow. Petpet never really left our house. He’s quite sheltered, he never really went out farther than 10 meters. So is Pilay. One time I brought Pilay out of the house for a walk, she violently resisted then went back to our house. I think they’ll get lost if they ever go over the next block.
They were borderline strays and sheltered.
Then Ondoy came in 2009. Being the sheltered cat that he was, Petpet slept somewhere around the house. He’s not really the one to panic when there’s something going on. But Pilay never got back. We thought she drowned in the flood.
I went to live temporarily at my Brother’s in Pasay two weeks after the storm. After the flood subsided, I went back and found Pilay scavenging for food near the dumpster. I was glad to see her, but she got scared and ran away. It was the last time I saw her.
Petpet went to live for at least two more years after the storm. He never developed a very good-sounding meow voice.
Hearing the noise of the cats outside just now made me remember him. It’s mating season, and mating calls are important to find a partner. Petpet just never had it in him to participate in it. Even when he attempted to jump at female cats, he just ended up being beaten down to a pulp. Petpet was the first being I know of that is an incel. He died a virgin.